Sending the Right Signals

Are the signals you are sending turning your current or potential future employers off?
Perhaps the first signal you send a future employer is your resumé. A resumé shows that you know how to fit in, it is proof of compliance, and has the keywords that an employer is looking for. Submit a poorly constructed resumé and your chances of success decrease dramatically. You have sent the wrong signal. Your signal states that you have not put much effort into tasks, that you are poorly organized and that you are not prepared to invest your time into the task. It signals that the job is not important to you. A well-constructed resumé will get you an interview. It signals that you regard the role as important to you and that you are willing to give up personal time to do thorough preparation.
Another important signal, again courtesy of the French, is your oeuvre – your body of work. This is a compilation of those things you have achieved so far in your life – both legal and non-legal. A body of work showing that you are organized, that you know how to lead and have completed work that has mattered to people, will greatly enhance your career prospects.
Success in gaining that important role in the legal community is not based on your genes or even your inherent talent. Success is based on your attitude and skills. Attitudes can change and skills can be learned. Your body of work should highlight your skills. Your references and testimonials, from colleagues and clients on LinkedIn for example, are things that are living and connected to your legal community and have a high degree of relevance to any potential employer.
Your character is itself a signal. The signal your character gives off is your integrity. You may be a very intelligent in your field and show lots of energy, but if you do not have integrity your other two qualities will kill your career. Character drives all good employment stories and for the employer it underpins all their employment decisions.
As an example – one poor character trait is complaining. The habit of complaining is anything but benign. It can hold you back in your career in all kinds of different ways. Complaining sends a signal that you don’t fit in and that you can’t focus on moving forward. It signals that you are not prepared to work in the direction of making real concrete changes to improve both you and your colleague’s situation. Instead use those negative feelings to help you move forward and make positive changes. Doing this, rather than complaining, can change your life and your career.
Send the right signals and overtime the right people will come looking for you.